Russell Wilson Isn’t Wrong, Russell Wilson Isn’t Right


If the NFL had it it’s way, nobody would ever talk about anything but the NFL. As things stand they’re pretty close to that goal – the news still gets reported, but pro football-related headlines are made nonetheless on a daily basis. They’ve conquered and dominated the news cycle like no sports league ever has. It’s an accomplishment worthy of tempered applause.

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The Seattle Seahawks are in the news a lot, as you’d expect from a premier franchise in the world’s most buzzed-about league. Most of the chatter these last months has been about quarterback Russell Wilson and his still-nonexistant contract extension. Everyone thinks the ‘Hawks will give Wilson a new deal, and they’re probably right. But as long as it hasn’t happened yet it’s still news. It’s news until it happens, and then it’s just different news. The NFL formula, if you will.

Wilson apparently wants to be the highest-paid NFL player of all time. It’s come up again and again lately, and there’s probably more reason than not to believe it’s true. Wouldn’t you want to be the highest-paid NFL player of all time? Who doesn’t want that? Everyone wants that, and maybe especially Wilson, who is already a superstar.

Wilson is right about this, but he’s also a little bit wrong. He’s wrong to make this such a public affair, to drag himself through all of this when it could just as easily be handled in a much neater, quieter manor. There’s more to this than the quarterback’s desires – the afformentioned NFL news cycle has plenty lots to do with it – but at the heart of all this is Russell Wilson. So it’s at least a little bit on him that this non-news is news.

What’s important is that Wilson’s demands don’t have to be met. They likely won’t be met, which is a huge reason why he’s likely to remain in Seattle long-term. The Seahawks need Wilson as bad as anyone, but there might be other teams who are more desperate. Those teams might be willing to overpay, but this is still a two-years-away hypothetical. By that point, maybe the ‘Hawks need him the most.

Eventually the Seahawks are going to tell Wilson’s agent a number that he’s going to like, and when that happens the two will presumably reach an agreement. Odds are that number won’t be tops in all of football. Wilson presumably knows this, which is why it’s nuts for the circus element of this to keep going. What good comes from furthering the drama? What’s the point?

This stems from a belief that Wilson’s payday in Seattle is but a guarantee, that all of this is just posturing. Which it probably is! There’s a great match between player and team, a strong bond between player and community. He’s a folk hero here, and he’s still on his rookie contract. Two straight Super Bowls, one of which they won. There’s no reason for this contract not to happen. Just… no reason.

Wilson is right, Wilson is wrong. The Seahawks are right to not want to make him the all-time richest, but maybe they’re holding a little firm in the current negotiations. Something’s got to give, but not for a while. It’d be best if everyone would just pipe down a little in the interim.